Monday, March 15, 2010

Diane Kruger by Karl Lagerfeld

If you had asked me last year which actress I would be reincarnated as, I would have promptly said, Cate Blanchett. But right now in this very moment, I would die, (like, Rachel Zoe die) to be Diane Kruger.

Not only does she have enviable style and a breakout role in a critically-acclaimed movie but she has recently been shot for German Vogue by the Keiser himself, Karl Lagerfeld.

In this editorial, titled Dandy Diane, Kruger puts on the men's looks à la Annie Hall and a young Coco Chanel.

Can't you picture her strolling down the streets of New York or Paris in the 1920s or the 70s?

What I loved about the Fall 2010 season was the return of the suit. There were masculine touches in the slim tailoring, the smart shoulders and the pinstripes but it made the suits all the more feminine and sexy when paired with a blouse and great heels.

And Kruger is the perfect model for this male/female power force. It's hard to pull off such a masculine image (suit, tie, hat tilted just so) and still look completely feminine and soft, but Kruger pulls it off beautifully.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alexander McQueen Fall 2010

I was going to write a review of Lee McQueen's last collection before he passed away but I felt that my words couldn't do it justice. I can only say that his absence will be sorely felt; for his clothes and his radical vision where a thing of beauty.

He was the only designer who wasn't afraid to take huge risks with his collections; will there be any more innovators, free-thinkers and dreamers like McQueen? I hope so.

Here is a review from the New York Times.

PARIS — With a pattern of angel wings undulating over her shoulder blades, the model walked through the gilded salon in one of Alexander McQueen’s final creations before he chose to leave this world. The private show that took place Tuesday, to the classical music Mr. McQueen had been listening to as he cut and fitted the 2010 autumn collection, was a requiem for a great designer. His vision of Gothic glory, with a world bathed in religious symbolism, was translated not just with immense subtlety and beauty but also with the urgent futurism that was the essence of his spirit. So the abstractions of Hieronymus Bosch paintings were not just printed on the sensuous and shapely outfits, where a taut bodice grew out of a multifolded hipline or emerged from soft fabrics flowing around it. Instead the images, with a focus in the British royal heritage of lions rampant or Grinling Gibbons’s wood carvings, were screened, manipulated and digitally woven. This was part of the designer’s exceptional reach from historic past to cyberspace future. But the anger and energy that had always driven Mr. McQueen to his finest work had turned to a mesmerizing calm for this 15-piece collection, which he completed before his suicide last month. The medieval headdress no longer had the wild, joyous madness that it had when Isabella Blow, his friend and mentor, wore one for a 1990s photo shoot. Everything in this collection seemed to be distilled from last season’s short and taut dresses balanced on animalistic footwear. Here sandals wreathed in gilded roses matched the salon’s ornate decoration, while the mirrors reflected the models’ golden feather Mohawks. The intense workmanship was of couture quality, which is the way Mr. McQueen had been moving his signature line. There were damp eyes among the small audience and sobs backstage — both from personal grief and at the scale of the loss to fashion of this singular designer. In this collection Alexander — Lee — McQueen showed his sensitivity to history, his powers of research, his imagination, his technical skills and his love of women, often misinterpreted or misunderstood, but here evident in every fold and feather.

For more photos of the show click here.

Update: Watch a video to see the clothes up close

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I grew up with a love for reading. When I was a kid I devoured Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, The Babysitters's Club, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables and any book my mom gave me.

But I was especially fond of comic books. My favourites were Archie, Calvin and Hobbes, Tintin and Asterix. I would just read them for hours and hours and I fell in love with all the characters.

When I was a teenager and through most of my early twenties, I forgot about comic books for a while until I discovered the graphic novel; Fables, Watchmen, Batman, Y: The Last Man are just a few of the ones I am currently obsessed with.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the women in these stories; how they are represented, what they mean to me personally and how their clothes reflect women in general. I guess I've been thinking about it because I am considering getting a tattoo of James Jean's Sally Jupiter (from Watchmen.)

In Watchmen, Sally Jupiter is a strong, kick-ass babe who loves fighting crime and making sure her hair is set juuuust right. In her heyday, she goes through many challenges, including surviving a sexual attack, but she still manages to keep on fighting. Her costume is a deliberate tease; fashioned to fool criminals (and men) into thinking she is a diminutive sex kitten.

But it's also a deliberate statement that says she is in control, she is liberated and she is sexually free and in charge. She can be sexy and still catch the bad guys.

The portrayal of women in comic books (especially how they are dressed) has always fascinated me, if even it's subconsciously. The clothes are usually skin tight and revealing, and you would think that Cat Woman would have a hell of a time fighting crime in a leather bodysuit.

The clothes always seemed to restrict the women; just as women in real life have historically been oppressed by their corsets, their high heels, their tight jeans.

And sure, sex sells. Men make up a large comic book readership but I feel that women are gaining on them. And although the women in comic books still wear titillating clothes, their personalities and actions make the clothes stand as a symbol of female power; they are taking back their sexuality once owned by men and making it their own and controlling it.

And that is definitely something I can root for.

Here are some other favourite comic book characters and their amazing outfits.

Cinderella- Fables

Wonder Woman

Bat Girl

Cat Woman
Dark Phoenix